The Importance of Calibration in the Workplace

Measurements are a large part of your life, although you likely take most for granted. Think about this: your car measures things all the time. You have a speedometer, that tells you how fast you are going, a fuel gauge to let you know how much you are using, and most likely many more indicators on your dashboard for various functions. Even the simplest of appliances use measurements to tell you when their job is done; your kettle, for example, measures the time and temperature of the water it boils.

Now, think about your job, and where measurements apply. You might be an engineer, and use tolerances that are important. You could be a plumber, and need to know the pressure in a system is safe and correct. You could be a mechanic, an electrician, a surveyor – any of these jobs require the use of measurements and, of course, equipment to carry out those measurements accurately.

Accurately is the key word here: for any measurement to give you the data you require, it needs to be accurate, and for any measuring device to be accurate, it has to start at a set point. This is where calibration comes into the picture.

What is Calibration?

Let’s say your job involves, in some way, measuring temperatures accurately. You most likely use some form of device to measure that temperature – a thermometer, perhaps. You rely on that thermometer to give you an accurate reading every time. What if the thermometer you use – for some reason – was not returning an accurate result? You have no way of knowing this, unless you have the device calibrated. That is, tested regularly so that it can be relied upon to provide you with the results you need, within the permitted industry standard tolerances. To make sure your instrument is calibrated, you can turn to companies such as Calibration Lab.

The same applies whether you are measuring distances, pressure, sound, weight or anything that requires measurement in order to be of use. In the workplace, inaccurate measurements can mean failure – and in some cases, can be very dangerous.

All measuring devices need calibration in a working environment, as over time there is a tendency for some to lose their accuracy. Even a basic ruler, often used for design purposes, can become inaccurate to a degree with frequent use. The important factor is to know what the standard tolerances are in your particular area of work, and to make sure that your measuring instruments are calibrated in an acceptable and recognised regularly.

How is Calibration Done?

The purpose of calibrating measuring equipment is to ensure that the results it returns will be within accepted tolerances. Different industries have different tolerance levels. Calibrating is not a job that should be done by anyone other than an expert, as even the smallest margin of error can have very damaging consequences.

A professional calibration service provider will be able to determine any problems with your equipment, and will use accurate and detailed methods to make sure even the simplest – or the most complex – measuring equipment is correctly calibrated to the required industry standards.

Accurate calibration not only determines a set starting point for the measuring device, but also ensures that it performs its measurement in the right increments. This is done in some cases using specialist equipment, so it is essential you enlist the services of people who have access to the right methods, and who can guarantee you calibration to the required degree.

From the simplest of measurements to those involved in major projects, every single one needs to be accurate, and the importance of calibration in the workplace cannot be over-exaggerated. Make sure all your equipment is calibrated correctly, for your peace of mind and for that of your clients.